Conservative Congressmen hate students who take loans. They lump them with tax cheats, criminals who owe reparations, and deadbeat dads. What do these people have in common? None of them is allowed to discharge the debt in bankruptcy. People who take loans for higher education and, later, fall on hard times, are considered unworthy of [...]
Archive for September, 2010
- Are you paying too much for financial planning and advice?
- POSTED 09.22.10
How much are you paying for the financial-planning advice you get? Some investors don’t know. Others think they know but don’t. “Fee-only” planners and registered investment advisers state their fees up front. “Fee-based” advisers appear to do the same but might be charging you in other ways. Brokerage house advisory accounts charge the most and [...]
If you own a variable annuity — a favorite investment recommendation of financial advisers — should you drop it and buy one with “new features” that didn’t exist before? Usually not. Yet that’s what The Hartford Financial Services group recently suggested to its customers, in a letter than enraged its agents. As it turns out, [...]
- Deflation investments: What will protect you if prices fall?
- POSTED 09.14.10
Investors need to kick the inflation state of mind. You’re huddling in short-term bond funds or fretting about a bond bubble because you’re sure that hyperinflation lies right around the corner. But the case against it is stronger than you think. Consumer prices rose only 1.2 percent in July, compared with a year ago. Near-zero [...]
- Should you trust your broker? No, and here’s why
- POSTED 09.8.10
I recently had an affectionate email from Steve, one of the devoted readers of this blog. I had written about the brokerage industry’s habit of giving investment advice while dodging the fiduciary rule – that is, the rule that advisers have to disclose all fees upfront and put their client’s interests ahead of their own. [...]